November 25, 2014

What We Do and Why We Need Your Help

Dear Friends,

The encounter of commitments. Of all the ingredients necessary to build a paradigm of pluralism, the encounter of commitments is arguably the most challenging. Coming to the table with our differences is critical, to be sure, and engaging in a dialogue is certainly necessary, but success in these endeavors often hinges on how well we are able to bring into the conversation diverse—and often competing—commitments.

Your support of the Pluralism Project allows us to continue to serve as a trusted hub for scholars, students, practitioners, and community leaders. Twenty-five years on, our priorities remain two-fold: to research the impact of religious diversity on cities and towns across America and to create educational resources. Our growing Case Study Initiative highlights the interplay between these two vital streams of our work.

Over the years, Pluralism Project researchers have studied both controversy and collaboration in multi-religious America. The Case Study Initiative uses both as opportunities for learning. Dilemma-based case studies take us beyond merely telling the story of the Tri-Faith initiative in Omaha or simply acknowledging the growing number of Muslims and Sikhs in public life. Facilitated case discussions invite us to inhabit the shoes of real people; they become both our conversation partners and our teachers. Dilemmas and disputes—and the collaborations that often ensue—thus become our primary texts. Your financial contribution allows us not only to research and write cases but also to increase our capacity to provide training and support to individuals interested in using these resources.

The encounter of commitments—played out in public school classrooms, city hall, and in the workplace—are at the heart of the Pluralism Project’s case studies. Increasingly sought after, our case studies are challenging students, interfaith practitioners, civic leaders, religious leaders in training, and everyday citizens to consider and discuss: What would you do?

Although we are a research and educational project based at Harvard University, grants and private donations sustain 97 percent of our annual budget. In other words, your financial contribution to the Pluralism Project doesn’t just make a difference: it’s what makes our work possible.

Contributions may be made by check or online at

Thank you in advance for your support.


Diana L. Eck

Founder and Director, The Pluralism Project
Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies
Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society

Harvard University

P.S. To learn more about our history and current work, please visit